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MS Expedition by Roderick Eime, Flickr, 2009Photo by Roderick Eime licensed under CC

This type of cruising is on smaller ships, usually between 50-150 passengers (and never more than 300), and offers comprehensive itineraries, normally concentrating on a particular area or theme.

The theme could be cultural, historical or centred around a particular destination such as the Antarctic or the Arctic Circle. The itinerary is paramount and the small size of the vessels means that you will be able to visit places and dock in ports that larger vessels cannot access.

With fewer fellow travellers, guest lecturers and a very experienced crew, small ship cruising gets you right to the heart of your chosen destination. Excursions allow you to reach fantastic little-visited areas and special, remote places.

Expedition Cruises are on vessels specifically designed to operate in the more out of the way destinations and itineraries concentrate on the natural world. On board there is a qualified team of naturalists and Zodiac boats are used to explore the otherwise inaccessible places of interest. These cruises are designed to take you on an exploration of nature and geography.

Destination Cruising offers a comprehensive itinerary usually concentrating on a particular area or theme, such as history and culture.

Tall ship cruising is another category where the ship is powered mainly by sails and you can enjoy the simple pleasure of literally clipping the waves with speed and grace and knowing that your ship will always be the most head-turning vessel as it arrives in port.

The only thing which is small on a small ship cruise is its size. You can enjoy a big experience as you travel in a totally new and exciting way. Small ship cruising is about bringing like-minded travellers together on an expedition and every day brings new delights and experiences.

Our partners, Silver Travel Advisor, can offer ideas and suggestions about small ship cruising, as well as a selection of interesting reviews which may inspire you.

You can also contact one of their experienced advisors if you have any queries.

Further information

For more information: Call Age UK Advice: 0800 678 1174